Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JUNE 12th, 2009  (Read 940 times)
Gold 5
War Room Staff
Jedi Council Member
*****

Karma: +25/-1
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1682


Stay on target!


« on: June 12, 2009, 06:38:51 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JUNE 12th, 2009


Thanks for dropping by and checking out JTA's roundup of all of the Hasbro Q&A sessions from around the web.  This week's answers come in a little late as Hasbro has slid back the time to answer.  The roundup is continually updating as we get more and more responses posted at the participating websites.  If you know of a site that's participating in the Q&A's but isn't represented in our roundup, please drop us a line with a hyperlink to that site's Q&A.

You can check out each site's postings by clicking on the website title.  And please do, as some of these websites need the traffic.  The Star Wars Q&A's are posted alphabetically.

Also be sure to check back as we distill the Q&A's down to the real nitty gritty with out Q&A Headlines.  That is where we give you real news that comes out of the Q&A:  newly confirmed items, assortments, exclusive details, etc.  And feel free to post about what Hasbro is saying in the Q&A process here in the Jedi Temple War Room.

That being said, let's start of at home:


JEDI TEMPLE ARCHIVES


QUESTION:  We've been tracking the news of the new Rebel Snowspeeder since your broke that news with JTA in this September 2008 Q&A session. Can you give us an update on when this new Snowspeeder might be coming to market? And with the equally exciting news of an impending Snowspeeder pilot Luke Skywalker, could we also be in store for a new Dack Ralter to man that Snowspeeder with Commander Skywalker?

ANSWER:  The Snowspeeder is still on track for the 2010 Starfighter line.  No plans for Dak right now, but it's a virtual lock that we will get to him at some point.


QUESTION:  Fans of the both the vintage and modern figure lines were excited with the news that the Ewok Warok (one of the few remaining vintage Ewoks) would be part of an upcoming battle pack. And it's always a great topic of conversation amongst collectors to see which figures from the vintage line have yet to be produced in the modern era. So when planning out the Basic Figure line, how much of a consideration is making modern resculpts of those vintage line stragglers? And which of those might be next on the list for their modern line rendition after Warok?

ANSWER:  We do try to get some key upgrades into the lineup every year; when we can't fit them in the basic figure lineup we look for other ways to have
them "in the bag."  There are quite a few more surprises lined up for nextyear as well, but we need to keep that close to the vest.  Trust us when we say that the list is shrinking although perhaps not enough for some fans (some like the Imperial Dignitary will still take a long while to find their way into the lineup).


QUESTION:  One of the single most anticipated figures in the basic figure line is undoubtedly the RETURN OF THE JEDI throne room duel Luke Skywalker. Collectors seem to have been waiting for years for this one! And more than a few were a little bummed to see that it wasn't shown in the recent Star Wars Insider article. How much of a challenge has it been to design and produce this particular figure, especially considering the great expectations from the collecting community?

ANSWER:  The Luke figure has not been a particular challenge, it's been more the whole wave which has been bumped back due to delays.  We will have the
entire EpVI wave available for inspection shortly, at Comic Con.




And now to continue on through the online Star Wars Collecting Community!


BANTHA SKULL


QUESTION:  Rumor has it that there will be a Captain Jeremoch Colton figure in the ROTS wave later this year. Are we talking about a new sculpt or just a kit-bashed version of the 2005 Captain Antilles figure?

ANSWER:  He's an all-new figure with much more articulation than Antilles.


QUESTION:  Can we get a better look at the Camie & Fixer comic pack that was recently mentioned to be coming soon?

ANSWER:  Actually, the Camie & Fixer pack has been removed from the Comic Pack lineup due to some changes we had to make to balance the tooling budget (the tooling bill was staggering and could not do everything we wanted). We are looking for a home for the set, and it will eventually come out, but have not settled on final plans yet. In any case, it's too soon to release any pics on that. It would likely be early Spring of next year before we talked about it.


QUESTION:  Bounty hunters seem to be lacking lately or in need of update. Any chance of getting Zam, Dengar, Zuckuss, or Aura Sing (non animated)?

ANSWER:  Yes, there are a strong chance that they all will be updated within the next 24 months in one form or another.





COLLECTION STATION


QUESTION:  Recently, Hasbro has updated cockpits on a few OT ships, including the B-wing, TIE Fighter, and A-wing, not to mention the detailed cockpit on the new Millennium Falcon. We understand that the B-wing and A-wing got new detailed cockpits because they had the opportunity from their use as exclusives, but exclusives or not, are there any plans or thoughts about continuing that practice on other ships? The X-wing, Vader's TIE, and Y-wing are all good candidates for new, detailed cockpits, but would the small size of some of those cockpits prevent those upgrades?

ANSWER:  We would like to eventually work the same cockpit treatment on all of the classic ships. Right now, the Y-Wing is likely to be up next.


QUESTION:  Now that we're starting to see pictures of actual samples of the new basic figure packaging, it begs the question: what is the thinking behind the significant amount of blank white area behind the figures? It basically looks like a nearly empty bubble that one would see in lesser products, such as last year's Star Wars figure keychains from another company. Especially considering the figures' new pricepoint of $8, doesn't it seem like a particularly poor idea to use packaging that minimizes the visual impact of the amount of product within?

ANSWER:  The line look was directed by Lucasfilm.


QUESTION:  Fans are glad to see the Jawa with WED Droid set produced, getting us 1 step closer to a complete "purchase of the droids" scene, but it seems like this pack-in WED droid is a tad on the large size. Comparison images have it around 25% larger than its movie counterpart. Also, the coloring on the toy is significantly different from the Jawa scene's white and red design seen at the droid sale (WED-15-ST68) - the gray and copper droid made into the figure was used in a cut scene by Fixer at Tosche station. So on the WED droid, why the increase in scale, and why the different colors?

ANSWER:  We "measured" the WED droid very carefully against several film reference points to triangulate the size, but in the end we were faced with a tough choice: due to minimum plastic thicknesses, we either had to break the proportions of the various elements, or take everything up in scale just a tad. We went with the increase, thinking that the proportion and overall aesthetic was more important for on-shelf display than having one element or the other out of balance. As for deco - great detective work! We thought we were doing the Purchase of the Droids version; we'll look into that and if you are right, we have a cool variation for sometime down the road. We expect that few people would mind adding another one of these incredible droids to their shelves given evidence for two distinct ones. Thanks for the heads-up and interest.




CREATURE CANTINA


QUESTION:  Any chance of September's Wal-Mart Evolutions "Army Builder" figures making their way to single-carded status, like in The Saga Legends Collection or even the regular line-up? Specifically, the Storm Commandos and V-Wing Pilots? Please, please, please?!

ANSWER:  With so few Saga Legends slots to work with, and so many great figures that we could choose, the odds of any one getting selected are very small. It's possible that we could do a future vote to determine some that we might add into the mix (we are aware of some of the fan votes currently underway for topics like this), but that won't be for a long time. Better to get enough of them when they are available for your needs, because you just can't count on any availability afterward.


QUESTION:  If Fi Skirata in his "custom-painted" white Commando armor is going to come out in an Evolutions Pack like Scorch came out single-carded, might there be an Omega Squad multi-pack forthcoming, like you did for Delta Squad, or Omega Squad in their black "stealth" armor . . . ? Hint, hint?
 

ANSWER:  We don't have one in the lineup, but that is an outstanding idea for some time down the road.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 09:18:04 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
Gold 5
War Room Staff
Jedi Council Member
*****

Karma: +25/-1
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1682


Stay on target!


« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2009, 06:50:28 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JUNE 12th, 2009 - PART 2



GALACTIC HUNTER


QUESTION:  Is there any chance of a retooled or kitbashed Cade Skywalker without the jacket and with sleeveless arms (similar to the first Quinlon Vos' arms)? We see him like this more in the comic than with his jacket on. And on the subject of Cade Skywalker, is there a possibility of someday getting a version in Sith Armor for when he was being mentored by Darth Krayt? —— Shabby Blue (Fashionista)

ANSWER:  As to a sleeveless version, yes there is one in the works. The Sith Armor version is interesting but short-lived in the comic relative to other characters from Legacy that we are looking at. It's unlikely we'll get to this version.

[Editor's Note: Praise-be to Wookieepedia for the imagery and for just being generally awesome — despite their reluctance to accept Stormy Sevenspire as a legitimate part of the Star Wars Universe. Don't everyone write letters all at once. No, really...]


QUESTION:  Are we going to get a version of the Tactical Droid seen in the new Clone Wars cartoons, such as TX-20 or TA-175. Several have appeared in episodes with different paint jobs but they all have the same body design. It would be a great candidate for multiple releases with the different paint jobs. —— Shabby Blue (Droid Salesbot)

ANSWER:  Yes, we will be getting the Tactical Droid out there sometime within the next 12 months.


QUESTION:  Hasbro, in the Q&A from 05/08/09 it was stated that there are new 'tools' (new models) coming out this fall for vintage vehicles that would make the old tools obsolete. It's already assumed that one is the AT-ST (from Endor), and we know two vehicles from Hoth are up for their makeovers. So the question is, does the Hoth vehicle walk or fly? —— JediMC6 (He and his wife...)

[Editor's Note: That's the cleaned up and polite version for print. He also declares: "Don't tell us to [wait until] Comic-Con because I live in PA, and I sure can't get to San Dawg for the convention. You let the cat outta the bag on your own — time to take one on the chin for collectors — they ain't no kid driven toy if it's vintage!!!" That last part implies that Saga is considered the adult/collector line.]

ANSWER:  You're digging in the wrong spot. Answers will be revealed soon, at Comic Con, and as always our collector panel presentation will be picked up and run by all major websites as well as starwars.com, so fans everywhere can get the same information at nearly the same time (not to mention pictures galore from the show floor).




HAN'S HIDEOUT


QUESTION:  Can you clear up for us when that second Ugnaught sculpt is shipping? We thought he was coming with the Phantom Menace Wave, but the case packs don't list him. Is he delayed until the RotJ wave (or later) or has he been cancelled all together as some are claiming?

ANSWER:  The second Ugnaught sculpt is shipping in the Fall red & white line look. We decided to make him a "seventh" new figure in a Fall wave rather than not have him ship.


QUESTION:  The 'Training on the Falcon' Battle Pack was a great way for you to get some figures and accessories out there to compliment the new Falcon. How about trying it again with an ESB theme this time? Maybe an upgrade to the classic Kenner 'Vehicle Maintenance Energizer' along with a couple of mynocks, Echo Base Han & Chewie and a new Echo Base droid?

ANSWER:  Interesting suggestion, but we have some other plans for the figures next year. Stay tuned!


QUESTION:  New info from online shops has revealed a new wave of Galactic Heroes - Ahsoka & Goldie, Thire & IG-86, ARF Trooper & Yoda, and Kit Fisto & Grievous! We’d love to see pics, but if you can’t share them until SDCC can you at least tell us if they are all new sculpts or if some are simple repaints of existing sculpts?

ANSWER:  These are all new figures, and they are indeed awesome! Grievous in particular is amazing with four spinning lightsaber-clenching wrists.




JEDI INSIDER

QUESTION:  Have you ever considered doing a Star Wars Holiday themed type battle pack?

ANSWER:  We have done holiday-themed set in the past, with mixed results. With the best ones behind us, inspired by Ralph McQuarrie's card art in many cases, we don't see going back to the format for 3-3/4". The Galactic Heroes holiday sets did just OK, so we're not in a hurry to back to the holiday theme.


QUESTION:  Will the Clone Wars Y-Wing fighter come with a figure or droid?

ANSWER:  Similar to the Starfighter Vehicle Assortment, the Deluxe Vehicle Assortment will not come with any figures.


QUESTION:  Have you ever considered making a Bespin Gantry playset from Empire Strikes Back?

ANSWER:  We have not considered making this scene. If we did embark on playsets, which we are not actively pursuing, we would be likely to select a scene with more action or playset-type features that would be appealing to kids.




JEDIDEFENDER


QUESTION:  We've noticed a few of the e-tailers are now soliciting a Ratts/Clegg 2-pack in the Phantom Menace wave cases. Can you please confirm/deny for us if you've been able to work out the tooling cost to give us a Pod Racer 2-pack instead of just a lone Cliegg?

ANSWER:  That image was not vetted before it went out and as such had outdated information. We are working to correct this with our retailers. Even if we could have been able to cost him back in, which we couldn't, it is far too late now.


QUESTION:  Are there any plans to re-use parts of the new Captain Typho figure to help whip up a new version of Captain Panaka or maybe a new generic Naboo Royal Security figure from Episode 1? Those original Episode 1 Naboo Troopers are looking a bit dated and sure could use an upgrade.

ANSWER:  We will certainly look at this. We want to make EpI waves on a regular (yearly) basis and the troops are a solid option to always look at for those Naboo hangar scenes.


QUESTION:  When designing new figures, what determines whether the head will be cast in flesh-tone plastic or cast in another color and then painted flesh-tone? Is it cost, asthetics or something else that determines which path you choose?

ANSWER:  We are agnostic as to flesh tone in a molded color vs painted, since there are copious examples of both throughout the line. The decision is usually based on what is going to be the least-expensive way to get to the final result, by controlling the fewest deco operations.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 09:18:46 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
Gold 5
War Room Staff
Jedi Council Member
*****

Karma: +25/-1
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1682


Stay on target!


« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2009, 07:10:38 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JUNE 12th, 2009 - PART 3



MOUSEDROID


QUESTION:  I've read recently that you made a comment in regards to the "Legacy Collection not selling well" That may be true, from a certain point of view, but I don't think you guys have the full picture. One of the major problems I have noticed (especially in recent times) is that retail continues to restock with older assortments. My local Target-Australia store has been without new Legacy (and Clone Wars figures) for some months now and yesterday they finally had something on the pegs - turned out to be Legacy Wave #1 and Clone Wars Wave #1 - again! This is happening at a number of stores.

On the same day Coles-Australia put out a fresh case of TAC Wave 4/5 remix (Holiday Boba, Jedi Luke, Stormtrooper etc) and now the people who already bought these figures, have to wait until these are all sold, which could take some time. The last few months have seen Big W-Australia restock, but with TLC Waves #3 and #4, preventing Wave #5 from getting through at many retailers.

How are we expected to support the line, if retailers aren't educated on what is new, what is old and what is last years collection? How can we truly support the line, if there is nothing new to collect?

ANSWER:  Retailers, for the most part, are far removed from the components in the assortments that ship out of their distribution centers and into the stores. If older waves are showing up, it's because they haven't moved through from Hasbro the retailer in the original expected quantity, meaning that it's slower than we'd like. Before we get to the new waves, we often have to make sure we get through the prior, or else the inventory will get increasingly older and will have nowhere to go.

However, your comment about TAC shipping into the Legacy Collection space is a disturbing one, since those have distinct 5-digit Assortments and that should not be possible, unless the retailer has "linked" the assortments to avoid markdowns. If that is the case, it could explain why older assortments are showing up, likely out of their warehouses.


QUESTION:  Why do we need to have "exclusive" action figures, such as the ones sold on starwarsshop.com or hasbrotoyshop.com? Wouldn't it be easier to simply relegate these releases to the basic line? Then collectors wouldn't have to worry about the (exorbitant) shipping costs from sws.com or the fact that hasbrotoyshop.com does not ship outside the US.

ANSWER:  HasbroToyShop has made a commitment to go to San Diego Comic Con every year, and we support the initiative with exclusives to offset costs and help contribute to their goals. If not for that, it's likely that we would not do exclusives through HasbroToyShop.


QUESTION:  Is there any chance that the following figures will receive upgrades in the next two or three years - Grand Moff Tarkin, Gamorrean Guard, Yak Face, Artoo Pop Up Saber, EV-9D9, Anakin Skywalker (Shaw), Rebel Commando, Rebel Fleet Trooper, Ishi Tibb, Dash Rendar, Anakin Skywalker (Lloyd), See Threepio (TPM and AOTC), Jar Jar (TPM) or what about Chewie as Snoova from SOTE?

ANSWER:  Yes, some of these *will* be updated in the next two years. We really want to do Snoova; he's come up a few times recently. We think it might be due to the renewed interest in bounty hunters thanks to The Clone Wars.
We would like to see him upgraded but right now don't have him in a specific slot.





REBELSCUM

QUESTION:  If collector-oriented obscure movie-only background figures are going to be less common in the basic line, is there any other place where they could be offered like a HasbroToyShop similar to MattyCollector.com? Their online-exclusive lines have been pretty successful and they are limited runs. You know, like the Lucas Family box set that was offered on StarWarsShop.com?

ANSWER:  We have actually been in business with this model before with the GI Joe line, and it has *not* been a successful business model. The reality is that online sales are only a small fraction of the total releases that brick and mortar will support. Despite the ease of getting figures online, many fans simply don't bother, or they enjoy the thrill of the hunt that is part of their collecting experience. As such, we have no plans to move back to this space and we prefer to devote our resources to delivering figures within our mainline assortments along with great exclusives and occasional Convention items.


QUESTION:  Will we see more Shadows of the Empire figures remade (the Prince Xizor & Leia Comic Pack is great!) like Chewbacca in Snoova Bounty Hunter disguise and Dash Rendar, Luke Skywalker In Imperial Guard Disguise and a few characters that were never made like Guri, Furlag, and Leebo!

ANSWER:  Yes, there will be some more Shadows figures from the list you mentioned, but it will take some time. Our guess is that within the next two years there will be at least two and perhaps more make it into the lineup in one form or another. Guri is the top choice, but she is not likely to be the first one out.


QUESTION:  It's great that you're releasing the remote control astromechs in the U.S., but one of them (R5-X2) was never made as a basic figure (or a Build-A-Droid). All the other droids relased as remote control are also available as regular versions (which are more in scale and better detailed). Any plans to eventually release R5-X2 as a regular figure?

ANSWER:  While R5-X2 is not in the lineup now, he would be a great one for down the road. Eventually, within the next couple of years.




SANDTROOPERS


QUESTION:  Hey Hasbro - What's UP? Why haven't the stores in my area seen any new figures since early February? Are you planning on ramming 56 new figures down my throat in a 6 week span sometime soon?

ANSWER:  We assume you are referring to Legacy and not the Clone Wars figures. The Droid Factory EpIV wave has been shipping for a while (we assume that's the Feb wave you mentioned). The EpV wave has been out for a few weeks, and the EpII wave is now available.  We are actively shipping the new waves.  Beyond us making the waves available for retailers to order, we can't control when they get out and to what stores, since it's up to the automated replenishment systems at individual stores to note when figures need to be shipped from a retailers distribution center to the stores. If your store has some slower-moving figures on the pegs, this may be the reason why. We have noticed that Wal-Mart seems to be doing a much better job of getting the new Droid Factory figures to shelf lately than other retailers.  Those will be the last of the blue/white line look, to be followed in late August/early Sept. by numerous new waves.  There have been about 20 new figures so far this Spring; there will be about 34 available in the Fall.  This is more back-loaded than is ideal, but the change to the new line look meant we had to hold over at least one wave until Fall (the EpVI wave) rather than have it risk not being released at all if we ended up not needing it in Spring (which we didn't).


QUESTION:  Today, I picked up the new Star Trek Bridge playset at Target. I am not a big Trek fan and I am not a Trek collector but I thought the playset would be a good way to display some vintage figures from other lines (Black Hole, Battlestar Gallactica, Buck Rogers, etc.) in one spot. The playset is a fairly simple piece (actually, a group of pieces) but is very well done (it actually reminds me somewhat of Palpatine's office in Ep. II and III). Because of its simplicity, it doesn't appear as if it would be overly costly to produce. In addition, the playset can be significantly expanded by buying separate packs of 'galaxy packs' that include chairs, consoles, and figures. Clearly, the galaxy packs are meant to help minimize the actual cost of the original playset while still offering consumers the chance to complete the environment. They also help increase the viability of production by "encouraging" fans to purchase the additional sets, which are mostly composed of re-paints and re-packs of previously released items. Is this an approach that Hasbro would consider for playsets? I can envision similar approaches to several Star Wars environments; the Emperor's Throne Room in ROTJ, Palpatine's Office in AOTC and ROTS, the Mos Eisley Cantina, various Death Star areas, the Hoth base, Yavin, Bespin, etc., etc.

ANSWER:  This is not an approach that we would consider for playsets.  We do not believe that this would be a successful model for us, because the model is collector-targeted and the only viable playset approach would be a kid-targeted or, best case, attract a dual audience with a properly designed playset.  Playsets cannot narrowly target collectors, since the costs to tool them up are formidable which places a burden on garnering the largest audience possible (for example, like we do with the new large-scale vehicle program which consumers the same design resources and approximately the same tooling and retail price as a playset would). All of the ones you cite would only appeal to adult fans at this point since kids are primarily Clone Wars-focused. If we felt there was a great playset we could do that matched the current entertainment, we would pursue it, but there has been nothing in Clone Wars that is an enduring environment that would led itself to great playset design.  If the Death Star ever came back in future entertainment, that would be our choice, but for now we are concentrating on driving the vehicle system to new and greater heights until the time we do see a large playset opportunity.


QUESTION:  In the final part of Season One of the Clone Wars, the Ryloth story arc featured Republic AT-TE's with a different color scheme (Grey with green accent) than the AT-TE's featured in Episodes 2 and 3 (grey with red/maroon accent). Will we see a re-issued AT-TE with this new paint scheme at some point in the future or at the very least a re-release of the AT-TE with grey+red/maroon coloring?

ANSWER:  We are not planning a re-release of the AT-TE right now, but we hope that in the future we will have an opportunity to bring it back out.  If we do, we have earmarked that Ryloth version as a possibility, along with considering any future color schemes we may see.  The only thing certain is that if there is a re-release it will not the original color scheme.




SIR STEVE'S GUIDE


QUESTION:  In a recent answer, you said unless you could find a way to market Titaniums to kids, there were slim chances for a re-launch. Ok. However, in the Titanium brand's history, there hasn't been any focus on in-package co-play, that is, vehicle vs vehicle battle excitement, a "battle in a box". That has long been a feature of the micro-vehicles expression since Galoob's first foray into Star Wars 15 years ago, and over the past 5 years has been a growing portion of Hasbro's 3.75" action figure brand with stuff like multipacks and battle packs. But Titanium hasn't enjoyed such marketing, there haven't been battle packs recreating the Death Star trench run, there haven't been 2-packs of Jedi Starfighters vs Vulture Droids or AT-TEs vs Hailfire Droids. Why hasn't that been explored, get the kid market into battles right from the package, and thus start their Titaniums interest? Might the concept be worth testing out for a holiday retailer exclusive? Relatives are likely to buy kids an X-wing vs TIE Fighter, Snowspeeder vs AT-ST, Slave 1 vs Falcon, and other recognizable 2-packs for Christmas, especially if they have dynamic "in battle" packaging, don't you think?

ANSWER:  While potentially a very interesting visual packaging execution, we don't think this the multi-pack suggestion an approach that will get kids interested in Titanium. With no inherent play pattern other than to facilitate imagination, and collectability, the format has limited chance to appeal to kids. We have looked at Micro Machines type of play, and even launched a full-scale (non Star Wars) Micro Machines relaunch a few years ago, but the micro play pattern as we know it is no longer interesting to kids.


QUESTION:  With the drop in sales of the Legacy Collection, might it be time to rethink the stance on realistic versions of the Clone Wars characters? We know you have said many times "no plans for that", but the original Clone Wars animated line couldn't survive at market with a realistic-styled version out as well, it just seems like 1 popular figure line is always destined to cannibalize the other line's sales. Having realistic-styled CW figs would slow the hemorrhaging of casual collectors away from the core brand, unifying some of the fractured collector community. It also allows interactivity between the lines for the more fickle kids and collectors. So while Hasbro has no plans currently in place for the format change, might Hasbro ask Lucasfilm to rethink their stance for the protection of the realistic line, perhaps at least a single figure exclusive to gauge support for that realistic CW format?

ANSWER:  It doesn't seem that a migration to Clone Wars is responsible for the drop in Legacy/Droid Factory. On the whole, collector purchases have dropped some, across the whole brand. There may be collectors active in Clone Wars, but if that's the case they have really "voted" to collect that expression. It remains an interesting suggestion, but there are still no plans to "cross-over" the lines.


QUESTION:  Hasbro has confirmed that the 2009 Return of the Jedi assortment will include a new sculpt of Malakili, the Rancor Keeper. Given that virtually nobody was asking for a revisited Malakili, and that the '97 figure is one of the biggest pegwarmers of all time, certainly the most notorious one, why did you choose him over so many seemingly more deserving (and requested) Return of the Jedi characters? If there was a Hasbro desire to revisit him, wouldn't it have made far more sense to include him with the Target exclusive Rancor instead? With figures like Bane Malar, Breha Organa, and other not-really-thought-about collector-focused figures being released to less-than-enthusiastic sales, isn't Malakili an even bigger risk? Will there be a conscious effort to limit this figure's production and/or release rate to stem pegwarming concerns? Could you explain to collectors what the thinking was behind this release?

ANSWER:  We decided that he was deserving of an articulation update, part of our desire to eventually rework all of the Kenner lineup. We would have liked to include him with the Rancor, but he was not ready in time (the Rancor was actually intended to be on shelf last November, but a date slip bumped him out to this Spring; essentially, they were almost a year apart). He will indeed be limited as will *all* collector-targeted figures starting with the Attack of the Clones wave. Despite what you think about Bane Malor, the fans seem to like him; unlike some of the "passive" characters, he was a very successful figure with no sell-through issues whatsoever.




To be continued.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 09:19:40 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
Gold 5
War Room Staff
Jedi Council Member
*****

Karma: +25/-1
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1682


Stay on target!


« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2009, 10:24:33 PM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JUNE 12th, 2009 - PART 4



SNOWTROOPERS


QUESTION:  The lack of recent Legacy figures appearing at Canadian retail is disconcerting. Can we expect to see waves 5 and later of the Legacy in greater numbers at regular Canadian retail or has ordering & production switched to the new line of figures (in the new packaging) slated for later this year?  And is this current lack of Canadian Legacy figures due to a slowdown in the Star Wars brand or are the retailers taking a step back due to the economics in the world?

ANSWER:  Retailers are not scaling back, but chasing the assortments that are doing very well.  Similar to what is happening in the U.S., the Legacy Collection/Droid Factory is struggling a bit compared to the other basic figure assortments (Clone Wars and Saga Legends).  Other assortments will be making their way to retail, but likely in smaller quantities in line with the current consumer demand.


QUESTION:  I wanted to echo a previous Q&A in saying how great I think the Spacetrooper helmet is compared to all the other removable Stormtrooper helmets tooled so far. Now that we have a great helmet mold, could Hasbro perhaps look at redoing the stormtrooper blaster rifle?  If you look at your own artwork on the card for Stormtrooper Han (showing him holding up a blaster), it's a somewhat larger weapon than the current Hasbro mold (especially heightwise). The same actually goes for the clonetrooper short rifle as well, which has always seemed a bit smaller than the movie (look at when the 501st points his rifle at Bail Organa, it looks far bigger/menacing than the rifle that we currently get with our clones).

ANSWER:  Thanks for the comment.  We thought we were in scale, but we'll take a look and see if future improvements can be made.


QUESTION:  The ESB Evo Emperor with a plastic hood looks great, finally solving the problem of soft goods hoods not having the necessary "weight" to drape downward on the head. And better, the plastic hood isn't too oversized like the previous attempt at the RotJ Emperor's hood. Can we now also get plastic hooded versions of old Ben (using your fantastic ANH Ben sculpt) for a proper ANH Duel with Vader, and of ANH Leia for her scene with R2 in the Tantive corridor?   Also can you add footholes to the feet of your next incarnation of ANH Leia (the current ESB one doesn't have them, making it harder to stand her up).

ANSWER:  We're glad you like it - the removable hood does seem like a nice solution.  You make some excellent suggestions, and we'll look into it for future versions of Obi-Wan and Leia.




SW COLLECTOR

QUESTION:  I really like how you keep adding a few new cantina aliens to the lineup every year. The accessories that some of them have come with are great too! What I am wondering is if a similar yearly focus on Jabba's Palace aliens could be successful as well, or is there a fear that collectors would not support that kind of a theme as well as they have the cantina denizens? There are still a lot of great palace characters that have yet to be made such as Wam Lufba (Yuzzum), Geezum, Loje Nella and many more.

ANSWER:  We would like to follow the Jabba's skiff/Sail Barge aliens systematically, and hope that we can get a couple new ones in each year. Geezum would be a likely candidate someday. The other two are doubtful, at least for a very long while.


QUESTION:  You have said in the past that if the vintage style cardbacks ever return, they would also be used for prequel and EU figures. Do you think that these will ever become a reality? Have any concepts ever been created of what a vintage style card for a prequel film character would look like? If so, would you be able to share a picture?

ANSWER:  We actually have not created a vintage style card for a prequel character, but can indeed confirm that this is the agreed direction should Vintage ever return. While there is no mock-up, we think that the cards would
look spectacular, as if the Vintage line had never stopped. It's an intriguing and powerful concept, and one we hope to be able to get to when the time is right.


QUESTION:  I've heard that Malakili is on the drawing board as an upcoming figure. While I look forward to being able to buy a companion for the upcoming Rancor, was any consideration given instead to do any of the other rancor keepers present in Jabba's dungeon that have never been previously released?

ANSWER:  We decided to go with Malakili because he checked off another box - that of a vintage figure that we wanted to bring completely up to date. We would like to do the other main Rancor keep some day.





SW ACTION NEWS


QUESTION:  In past Q&A's Hasbro has stated that certain segments of the line have suffered due to a shrinking of the collector base.  Hasbro has also stated that they have changed some plans due to this downturn - for example a cancelled EU wave, etc. 

With no theatrical pushes any time soon for Star Wars, does Hasbro expect the collector base to grow again at some point?  And/or what will Hasbro try to do to attract the collector base back?

ANSWER:  Great question!  One thing that is certain is that the current core collector base is still strong, and we will keep planning a great lineup every year.  It's just that we have to be a bit more cautious on quantities and committments to keep the line moving through waves nicely. 

As to whether the fans who are on the sidelines will come back, our guess is that some probably will because their situation is temporary.  And some probably won't as their time away from the hobby might impact their interest.  We do expect the ranks of collectors to grow over time as a new  generation enters the ranks: kids who grew up with Episode I in the next few years as well as fans who became fans of The Clone Wars.  We also have some very special plans in the works that stand a very good chance of drawing A LOT of casual fans back.  But you'll have to wait until Toy Fair next year to learn more about that!


QUESTION:  Certain other toy companies seem to have found some level of success with a line of figures aimed squarely at collectors available as online only exlcusives ordered directly from them (Mattel's Masters Of The Universe Classics).  Instead of having overflowing pegs of Yarna and Willrows, collectors could just get them online.  Is this a business model Hasbro might employ to distribute figures that might be collector focused, but would otherwise languish on store shelves?

ANSWER:  We have actually been in business with this model before with the GI Joe line and it has NOT been a successful business model.  The reality is that online sales are only a small fraction of the total releases that brick and mortar will support.  Despite the ease of getting figures online many fans simply don't bother, or they enjoy the thrill of the hunt that is part of their collecting experience.  As such none of Hasbro's lines have made the move back to this space and we prefer to devote our resources to delivering figures within our mainline assortments along with great exclusives and occassional convention items.


QUESTION:  Recently we have noticed that Hasbro Toy Shop has been selling AFA graded figures.  What were the reasons behind this decision to sell AFA graded figures?  And will we see this AFA trend continue with Hasbro exclusive figures in the Hasbro Star Wars license or others?

ANSWER:  Hasbro Toy Shop was looking for new ways to expand their business.  And with a growing interest in graded figures elected to build out of a segment of their business devoted to graded figures.  We're not certain what the expansion plans are in this space regarding Star Wars exclusives.





THE JAWA


QUESTION:  With talk that Hasbro might reuse the Ten Numb/Keyan Farlander sculpt again in 2009, can you fix the tendency for this figure to lean over to his left side?Β  While the problem is not as bad on Keyan, on Ten he leans over quite conspicuously. I wouldn't want to end up with a small squad of B-Wing pilots that all lean over to one side as Hasbro uses this sculpt for future pilot figures.

ANSWER:  This figure was actually made to stand with one leg forward, rather than the standard "at attention" pose that a lot of our pilots have.  We were trying to give some variety to the posing so scenes could look a little more organic and like we see in many scenes. We have heard from a number of collectors that they would prefer to have figures that are in a standard pose, so this is something we'll consider, especially as we release future B-Wing Pilots.


QUESTION:  The only really disappointing aspect about both the TAC Mace Windu and now the TLC Stass Allie is the use of rigid plastic for the Jedi skirt. Hasbro took a big step in the right direction with the elasticized skirts and partial soft goods for the rear when they re-did both Obi-Wan and Anakin for TAC so they could easily sit and pose their legs in more dynamic action poses.  That can't be said for Mace or Stass though and it's frustrating that I can't sit them either in Jedi starfighters or in my Jedi Council set from a few years ago.  Could Hasbro please try to design future Jedi figures similar to the Obi and Anakin for better overall playability and poseability?

ANSWER:  That's a great comment that we'll pass on to the design team.  Thanks very much!


QUESTION:  For the other rebel ground crewman that was dropped from the Scramble battlepack, can Hasbro include him in a way that makes it easy to army build? For those of us who want to recreate the Yavin ceremony, there are dozens of these crewmen in the audience. Hasbro may love it if we buy a dozen battlepacks to get more of this guy, but our wallets sure wouldn't. And what about making it easier to swap heads with future rebel figures so that we can try to diversify the looks of the crewmen (they aren't clones after all).

ANSWER:  While it's a great idea, we can't ensure a head-swap standard since we don't have a "universal" size and the size of the neck ball differs based on the figure (they are sculpted by an array of sculptors).  As for the future repacking of the ground crew figure, we have no plans to get him back out there but understand the desire.  Perhaps some day we will look at him again.





To be continued.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 10:49:44 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
Gold 5
War Room Staff
Jedi Council Member
*****

Karma: +25/-1
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1682


Stay on target!


« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2009, 11:30:17 AM »

JTA - HASBRO STAR WARS Q&A ROUNDUP - WEEK OF JUNE 12th, 2009 - PART 5


THE PRIVATE UNIVERSE


QUESTION:  I find the Clone Wars figures hit or miss. I realise they are designed for kids but some are amazing and others not so much. Are you going to go back and redo or variations of some you have already released at all? For example a fully articulated Anakin and Obi-Wan would be most welcome.
The 1st versions were hampered by the robes and not able to do much below the waist.

ANSWER:  We will not be re-doing the basic figures to cater to the collector audience, but instead re-releasing them to keep up with kid demand for the core figures. We may release more articulated versions of Anakin and Obi-Wan as needed for other sets - such as the figure/vehicle packs for example where they may need greater articulation to sit astride a vehicle. There will be other versions of both coming as well (such as space suit versions) but articulation will be on a case-by-case basis. In general, the Clone Wars line will not have as much articulation as the Legacy figure line, since kids are less demanding in this regard.


QUESTION:  My 6 years old daughter is becoming a big Star Wars fan, but there aren't any girl orientated toys for her. Are there any plans to fill this collector group? Maybe a Barbie style of doll with interchangeable clothes would be a direction to take.

ANSWER:  We build any line around consumer insights drawn from the entertainment, matched to the demographic. Despite the huge success of Clone Wars, Star Wars still remains very boy-focused. That's not to say there aren't girls watching, but the market is just not big enough to warrant development of
a line for the small demographic and a play pattern that is not a solid fit (more credence could be given to interchangeable Clone gear, for instance, than a Padme-type play pattern like we attempted for Episode I and which did not succeed). We do know that many girls who get into Star
Wars want lightsabers and role play, and will play with action figures just like the boys... we saw this during Episode III and believe the same trend holds for Clone Wars.


QUESTION:  You have made bigger scale X-Wings, Tie Fighters and Millennium Falcon, is there any chance of there being bigger scale Slave 1? With Boba Fett being such a popular character I am sure that a bigger Slave 1 would be welcomed by collectors.

ANSWER:  The Slave 1 is very high up on the list of vehicles we'd like to see re-done someday. If there were entertainment support behind, we'd feel more confident about it's chances of success, since we'd need more than collectors to get behind what would be a more expensive vehicle.





YAKFACE


QUESTION:  Recently collectors have been noticing a shift in the color of the B.A.D. parts for U-3PO from the bright silver in their initial release to a more subdued champagne/platinum hue. Was this variation produced intentionally to correct an initial molding error or are the new colored parts just something that happens in production?

ANSWER:  This change was based on a request from Lucasfilm.  We were able to catch the request partway through the run, and the color moved from the silver version to the slightly more yellow "champagne" version.  The color difference is *very* subtle.


QUESTION:  The new Magnaguard fighter is starting to hit shelves around the country and I was lucky enough to pick one up the other day and it is one awesome vehicle. High praise to the designer(s) that had the foresight to incorporate the storage hatches for the Magnaguard's electrostaff in each wing. I did notice something quite curious about the fighter though. What is the intended purpose of the hexgonal hole on the top of aft section of the fuselage? The only use I can see for it is to stow the CW Magnaguard figure's rocket launcher. Am I close in guessing what this is for or is there some other function for it that I'm not seeing?

ANSWER:  Yes indeed, it is designed to be compatible with the Magnaguard's launcher.  You know, this vehicle is a pretty cool one when you think about it.  Who knew, when we first saw Episode III unfold on screen, that we'd see these cool guys get their own ship (much less multiple different versions of this single type of droid).  This is why we love Star Wars!


QUESTION:  It's been a while since we've heard anything about the progress of Willrow Hood, can we expect to see a finished version of him on display at SDCC (San Diego Comic-Con)? If not*, would it be possible for you to share a teaser photo with us of the prototype (or final figure) to see how this fan fav's sculpt is coming along?

ANSWER:  Yes, you will see Willrow in all his fan-requested glory, with signature accessory, at Comic Con





Keep checking back as more sites continue to file their Q&A reports.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 09:29:14 PM by Gold 5 » Logged

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
Gold 5
War Room Staff
Jedi Council Member
*****

Karma: +25/-1
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1682


Stay on target!


« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2009, 10:52:03 PM »

UPDATE!

Three sites added:

-Creature Cantina
-SW Action News
-The Jawa
Logged

Stabilize your rear deflectors.  Watch for enemy fighters.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Themes


Permanent?
TinyPortal v1.0 beta 4 © Bloc